Melinda Gates gives Trump admin D-minus on coronavirus response: 'We need leadership'

Melinda Gates on Thursday gave the Trump administration a “D-minus” for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need leadership at the national level. We lost two months almost now in terms of our national response,” Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated billions of dollars to health research, told Politico.

Gates said the U.S. has “50 different homegrown state solutions instead of a national response.” 

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“You know, if we were doing the things that the exemplar countries are doing, like Germany, we would be testing. We would be testing, first, health care workers and then the most vulnerable, and you’d be doing contact tracing,” she said. “And we would be able to start thinking about slowly, slowly reopening places in society in safe and healthy ways, but we have a lack of a coordinated effort.”

White House spokesperson Judd Deere said in a statement that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE has taken an “unprecedented approach” to working with governors to get them the resources they need during the pandemic. 

“The ongoing response to this global pandemic has been about close coordination and partnerships with State and local governments,” Deere said. “The White House has been working with Governors and their teams since January on this whole-of-government response, including supply chains, testing, data-driven guidelines for social distancing, and now a responsible plan to open America again.”

In terms of funding, Gates said that more money should “absolutely” be put toward testing and contact tracing.

On the global level, Gates said money needs to be put toward funding a vaccine. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the World Health Organization’s second-largest funder, according to Politico. 

The foundation pledged $150 million for its coronavirus relief efforts in April, on top of the $100 million the foundation committed in February.